Westworld Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Trompe L'Oeil

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It wasn't Theresa's greatest day at Westworld.

Then again, Westworld Season 1 Episode 7 proved many at the park are deceived on a daily basis. There's only one man who knows everything, and he doesn't seem all that willing to share his secrets. 

In fact, if he dies, the entirety of Westworld may go up in smoke with Robert Ford. 

Critical Mistakes - Westworld

As I write these reviews prior to seeing previews for the coming episode (and this week don't have another installment to watch in advance), I can't help but wonder how much of what I say will be wiped clean by a simple 30 look into what lies ahead.

Because we were treated a confirmation and a lot of conjecture with "Trompe L'Oeil." It's impossible to keep the brain from spinning out of control. I feel a bit like Bernard at the moment, poor, far too free Bernard.

I'm not one. I can't be. My wife, my son. They're real. My poor boy.


We've been wondering for quite some time if he is or isn't, and Bernard's mystery was that he was such a stoic character. He wasn't programmed with much emotion, but he was programmed to be one of the most important people in the park as Ford's right hand man. He was even given enough leeway to think freely. Or was he?

Bernard has been talking to Dolores and asking her questions, trying to set her free, but it could have been Ford the entire time, putting a completely different perspective not only on Bernard, but on Ford, as well. 

With the unmasking of Bernard as AI and completely under Ford's control, everything we know and have witnessed of both characters has now been called into question.

Is there anything Bernard does of which Ford is not intimately aware? If Bernard was not around at the time of Arnold, in particular, does that mean he's only come as far as he has because of the coding Ford created, and it's Ford's ability to make the AI uniquely human that may have surpassed Arnold's?

I am not going to lie. My mind is swirling with possibilities, and none of them make much sense at the moment. I've figured out the sum total of nothing. But gosh it is fun to try. 

The hints at Bernard's fate and Theresa's death were well done. Not only did Theresa flinch when she first heard of the blood sacrifice, but Bernard admitted he had a hard time understanding humans.

The longer I work here, the more I think I understand the hosts. It's the human beings that confuse me.


It's unfair that Ford used Bernard to kill Theresa. He should have had the balls to do it himself. He knows the hosts have memories. He knows to what degree they are remembering the past. He created the reveries knowing full well just how important they were to the process.

Now we know why he was able to tell Bernard about the memories being used and why it didn't rankle Bernard more than it did. Ford didn't want it to. But still, Bernard had a relationship with Theresa, one that was formed because she sought it out. It was natural and real to Bernard, and unless he's wiped, he'll remember killing her, right?

Ford will still hold the guilt of taking her life, even if he didn't do it with his own hands. He should have taken the blood himself. At one moment, I feel like he understands his creations, and at others, I feel he understands them not at all.

Then we have William. William was just shouting, "I'm The Man in Black," didn't you think? He's opening up and beginning to see the possibilities of a place like Westworld. Listing to him, I want to go, too.

I've been pretending my whole life. Pretending I don't mind, pretending I belong. My life's built on it. And it's a good life; it's the life I've always wanted. But then I came here, and I get a glimpse for a second of a life in which I don't have to pretend, of a life in which I can be truly alive. How can I go back to pretending when I know what this feels like?


More than being a white hat, William has been a yes man. He goes with the flow whether he likes it or not. It got him to a good place, secured him a woman he loved and a job he thought he wanted, but he never felt truly alive until he didn't have to do what everyone else wanted him to do. 

I used to think this place was all about pandering to your baser instincts. Now I understand It doesn't cater to your lower self, it reveals your deepest self; it shows you who you really are.


Part of the reason he can be free in Westworld is because he knows he's not going to get in real trouble. Nobody is going to report back to his fiance or his boss that he's done something out of character. What happens in Westworld stays in Westworld.

So if we continue on our assumption that William and The Man in Black are the same man, what happened to change him?

Even though he flat out tells Dolores he has another woman, maybe he falls too hard for her and when she's wiped, and Teddy is created to take his place, he takes it personally. 

But if he's seen once the capabilities of a free thinking Dolores, wouldn't he have wanted to believe he could reach her again? Get her off that loop? 

William said more than once that he wants to know what's at the end of it all, just like The Man in Black. It seems fairly obvious now that the two are one in the same. Is there anything you can think of that would keep that from being true?

I'm curious about the board. Charlotte, who has no shame, mentioned a project they have that's the only thing they care about. It connects directly to the intellectual property of the park and nothing else.

The park itself, the hosts, the land – it's all expendable. But Ford, he's not a dummy. He has full control over that IP. Unless the board can get it, Ford goes nowhere. Ford's not going anywhere. 

I'm wondering if he has made a Theresa host who is waiting in the wings to take over for the living Theresa. He can continue living on the park and the board would be none the wiser. They'd think they're in charge, but it would be, once again, Ford pulling all the strings. And if he doesn't have one, why in the hell not?

If I had a secret chamber where I was making hosts that only I controlled and nobody could tell the difference, I'd make a whole set of people I wanted to get rid of, especially if I had hosts who could kill at will. We're not talking about a man who cares about morality here. We're talking about Ford.

I find it hard to believe the board doesn't have a need for the hosts. For what other reason do they want the IP? The IP ARE the hosts. Imagine what you could do in the world with people you controlled, people who assimilated into society and whom nobody knew weren't just like you and me. People with no fear and who couldn't die.

Expendable people. It sure seems like the sky is the limit for what that IP could do in the real world. Maybe I'm too easy a target.

I mentioned earlier William's views on Westworld were making me want to go. I'd also like my hosts to be a bit more like Killer Clementine. She was awesome. It would be a much more fun park if the hosts would turn on each other during a fight like that and do the unexpected.

I wouldn't want to see women being taken advantage of all the time. But if Maeve or Clementine were kicking ass in Saloon on any given night? I might book a room. There are so many things they could do with Westworld to make it a bit more exiting. Maybe it is in the present, and we just haven't seen it yet.

Every time Westworld airs, I want more. It's no different after our blood sacrifice, after learning Bernard isn't one of us, but one of them. After losing Clementine to a lobotomy and seeing Maeve cannot be voice controlled any longer. What's next? 

Trompe L'Oeil Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Westworld Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

But the gods. They require a blood sacrifice. We need to demonstrate just how dangerous Ford's creations can be.


William: My friend. My friend wanted to see what was at the end of all this.
Lawrence: Your friend didn't make it. And yet, here you are. Maybe you got more of an appetite for this than you think.